Data shows Vote-by-Mail increases voter participation
Following the Council seat Special Election, the City Clerk’s office would determine the number of people who participated via Vote-by-Mail vs. those who voted in person. The City Council could then use that data to determine how many polling places they would need to keep open in order to expand Vote-by-Mail in future elections.
“This is a victory for the voters of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Huizar. “By giving them access to Vote-by-Mail without having to send in any forms, we will see a rise in voter-participation, which is the main goal of introducing this legislation. It is my hope that we will see Vote-by-Mail expanded throughout the City in future years so that more people take part in our City’s democratic process.”
Friday’s action by the City Council was a compromise designed to initially allow for voters to vote in person at the same number of polling places while increasing the number of overall voters by sending Vote-by-Mail ballots to all registered voters in the Special Election District.
Vote-by-Mail has consistently led to an increase in voter participation in states like Washington and Oregon and cities like Denver and Burbank. Increased voter participation via Vote-by-Mail cuts across all demographics, regardless of political affiliation, race or economic status.
Councilmember Huizar presented his plan as part of an election reform package, the Los Angeles Voters’ Bill of Rights. That effort has the support of Council President Eric Garcetti and several good government organizations, including California Common Cause; League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; California Clean Money Campaign and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.